President Donald Trump is said to have handed off business operations to his children, in an effort to serve the country and refrain from conflicts of interest. That said, though, President Trump still apparently doesn’t want the American public to know how much his businesses are making in profits.
The General Services Administration (GSA) took down information pertaining to the Washington Trump Hotel’s profits after a report from The Washington Post pointed out that Trump’s Washington hotel has made nearly $2 million in profits so far this year. After Trump’s inauguration, the hotel raised its room rates to $652.98, likely adding significantly to the hotel’s overall profit.
The General Services Administration removed the Trump DC hotel data from its website. But not before WaPo saved it.https://t.co/IJr9dAaBfp
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 11, 2017
GSA spokeswoman Pamela A. Dixon told the Post in an email:
‘The documents were posted inadvertently and have been removed from our website. The White House was not involved.’
To make matters even worse, the Trump Organization leases the building the hotel is in from the GSA. The GSA essentially acts like the government’s landlord.
As The Washington Post explains:
‘The hotel is in the Old Post Office Pavilion, a government-owned property managed by the GSA. Under a 2013 deal between the GSA and the Trump Organization, the company sends the government $3 million in base rent and a share of profits beyond a certain threshold. The deal requires the Trump Organization to share its financial information with the government on a routine basis.’
So, Trump is president and is still benefiting, financially speaking, from the profits the hotel makes. Ethics experts, Democrats, and government watchdogs disapprove of this, of course, as they believe Trump is using his role as president to charge higher-than-average prices and to increase profits. Until Thursday, the GSA has refrained from posting unredacted versions of the hotel’s monthly profits.
Trump has visited the Washington Trump hotel numerous times since his inauguration. He held a fundraiser for a Republican back in June and has also visited for dinner a few times since taking up residence at the White House.
‘Being #FakePresident is good for illegal business. #RICO Federal government takes down data on Trump’s DC hotel’
— Michele Somerville (@NYpoet) August 11, 2017